Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Worst Day of Cancer

Although I've been a part of many sad cancer days, today has been the worst I've experienced first hand. I met my parents at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at 8:30 this morning, and left after 9:00pm tonight. Cathy drove mom and dad to Seattle, and I'm very grateful that she did because I can't imagine my day without her there. Mom had her port accessed this morning, gave blood, and saw her clinical trial nurses. Dad had his port accessed, gave blood, and then saw his doctor. Everything was going as planned.

Mom's chemo was scheduled for 2:30 and dad's was scheduled for 3:30, but when we went to get them checked in, a receptionist they didn't know literally had tears in her eyes when she realized they were married. Dad's chemo was moved up to 3:00 and they put them in rooms as close together as they could. Cathy sat with mom and I sat with my dad. Again, everything was moving along well.

Throughout the 2 hours of chemo, I checked on mom and she looked fine. My dad handled his chemo alright, except for the bad foot cramps. I thought we were going to make it thru the day without any problems until Cathy walked down the hall to dad's room with a strange look on her face and said she wanted to switch with me. She said, "I think you should go rub your mom's back and sit with her". I immediately had a bad feeling in my stomach. When I walked down there I noticed that my mom was wrapped up in a bunch of blankets and had a towel on her head. She looked like a completely different person than she had 30 minutes before when I was in her room. She said she was cold but she was extremely sweaty and her right leg was constantly tremoring. She couldn't even open her eyes.

The nurse came in the room and started doing tests. At this point, it was about 6:00pm and she was supposed to be done at 6:30. She looked horrible. She has had migraine headaches in the past but this was unlike anything I could put into words. It broke my heart to see her that way, and clearly Cathy was having a tough time with it as well. When dad's chemo was over he came and sat with mom. They continued to do tests on her and she continued to shiver and have tremors. They told us she couldn't leave until she was stable so they postponed her departure to 7:30. When we saw that mom was getting sick I called Angie to let her know. She and my aunt Vickie came down to the hospital. Mom continued to sweat and lie there in misery. Her oncologist was notified of the problems and called at 7:30. He told us that he was going to give her until 8:30 to come around or he was going to admit her into the hospital.

At this point, we had the pharmacy fill her perscription for migraine medicine. Within 30 minutes of taking the pill she was a totally different person. Angie and I were able to take her home around 9:00pm. She has to go back to the hospital in the morning so she is staying in Seattle tonight. My dad went home to be with Jake and I am staying with mom because I have the most flexible work schedule for tomorrow. We are looking forward to getting some results tomorrow. They think her reaction was likely caused by the anti-nausea medicine they gave her before treatment, not from the treatment itself. Between the migraine, uncontrolable leg tremors, and irregular EKG, we aren't going to feel good until we know what is going on.

Mom is lying on the couch in her pajamas. She looks good, kept dinner down without getting sick, and even had a cup of ice cream for dessert. I think we are moving in the right direction. We are all completely worn out and in need of some sleep. I will tuck mom into bed in a few minutes and give her a goodnight kiss from each of you. I promise.

We will write more tomorrow-



Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to all of you, It is the most hellpless feeling in the world to just sit there and be able to do nothing. I hope things go better in the morning. Parents have a way of aging thier kids. Hang in there

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to all of you, It is the most hellpless feeling in the world to just sit there and be able to do nothing. I hope things go better in the morning. Parents have a way of aging thier kids. Hang in there

Terry said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to you, Amy and your family...

I know how it feels to watch a parent go through this but I can't even begin to know what it must be like for you, Angie & Jake to go through this with both parents at once. You are all very special people and such an inspiration to us all!

Tomorrow will be a better day!

CFCina said...

Continuing to send virtual hugs and tons of happy thoughts to ALL of you!!!

~ Kathy (Relay friend in Hillsboro, OR)

Anonymous said...

Thinking of all of you and sending prayers always.

Anonymous said...

My family has your family in their prayers every day.
I hope today brings better things for your family.

Jen Caine said...

My prayers are with both of you and your family at this difficult time. Curl up in a warm fuzzy blankie and with each other. I'm sending my love North to all of you.

Jen Caine
Relay buddy in Camas, WA